MANILA – A local trade association of meat importers and traders is calling on the government to relax import rules for meat products, including registration requirements, shipping and arrival dates, and on the declared net weight of shipments.
The Meat Importers and Traders Association (Mita) said that prior to the year 2000, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance (SPSIC) and Veterinary Quarantine Clearance (VQC) did not impose some of the requirements that are applied today.
In a letter dated August 15, 2023 to the Department of Agriculture (DA) Animal Industry Bureau, Mita noted what it called a “onerous” requirement for importers to register their “importables.” » individually by source of imported items.
“As we are dealing with commodities, the same item from one (foreign meat establishment) is traded by many exporters. A single importer can purchase the same item from 10 different exporters,” the association said.
“At the same time, a single (foreign meat establishment) packs dozens of items. One can imagine how all this multiplies and aggravates the procedure,” they added.
The trade association also said the strict requirements for shipping dates leave them no recourse for human error.
“If the shipment is dispatched one day after the dispatch date, it becomes compromised and subject to seizure. As such, everyone is busy looking at the dates,” he said. he declares.
In addition, the Mita said that shipments that do not reach the shipping date are suspended pending issuance of a new SPSIC, which, in turn, incurs additional costs for them.
“We ask that the validity of the SPSIC be extended,” the group said.
The group also raised questions about the rules around the declared net weight of meat shipments.
“If the net weight exceeds 3% of the SPS request, the excess cannot be cleared and is left behind. Sometimes customs would charge the importer with an overquantity violation, and some were suspended,” the group said.
La Mita said it was standard practice across all industries to allocate a 10% variance in the total container load, citing that this should also be allowed for meat imports.
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